Showing posts with label placencia hotels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label placencia hotels. Show all posts

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Embrace the Kind of the Jungle in the World’s first designated Jaguar Preserve

The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, named after its cockscomb appearance within the Maya Mountain in Southern Belize, was the world’s first jaguar reserve and is a protected subtropical rainforest.  More than two decades after its creation, the sanctuary remains a model for wildlife conservation and a point of pride for Belizeans. This jaguar reserve, where a viable population still strives today, is a most critical part of a larger jaguar corridor system where the wild and magnificent jaguar roams throughout two continents from Northern Mexico to Northern Argentina.

Of the five native species big felines prowling the Belizean jungle, it is the elusive and magnificent jaguar that everyone visiting Belize wants to see. It is only a lucky few who have actually seen any of these beautiful apex predators – the real king of the Belizean jungle and the undisputed super power of the new world continents.

Belize’s grasslands, wetlands and lush rainforests, nestled in the Maya Mountains, provide the perfect backdrop for these magnificent big cats which are the most powerful predators in Central America.  Inside Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, visitors may not see the nocturnal king of the rainforest during the day but will get a taste of the area’s bio-diversity, impressive scenic views, serious birding opportunities, jungle flora and fauna and may have the opportunity to swim in a pool below a glorious cascading waterfall.

Not only are jaguars among the most beautiful animals but among the most powerful stealth predators that use stealth and surprise as key techniques to catch its prey.  The elusive jaguar seems to prefer peccaries, but would also take monkeys, agoutis, deer, armadillos, birds and other animals. Before the kill, the mysterious Central American carnivore stocks the herd, and creeps ever closer to its prey. With a single powerful bite at the prey’s jugulars, the rainforest master finally conquers its prey.

Below where you see the jaguar is where you can find the Reserve. 

Jaguars have been in the Americas before the native Maya of Belize.  The locals still speak of the big cat with reverence.  For thousands of years the people of the Americas have revered him.  To the indigenous Maya the jaguar is simply called baalum, meaning “king”.  The Mayas considered the jaguar a deity – a symbol of leadership and a creature that walks between worlds. Today, the powerful jaguar remains as the apex predator of the new world jungle kingdom.

Belize leads jaguar preservation efforts in the world.  Although hunters and deforestation have reduced the jaguar population, these animals continue to thrive in the jaguar preserves and reserves and interconnecting corridors of Belize. As humans continue to encroach on the once sovereign kingdoms of the big cat in Belize, NGO’s such as Audubon Society and Wildlife Conservation Society continue to engage the local communities, including the park rangers, ranchers, and Mayan leaders in dialogue and mutually beneficial efforts towards jaguar preservation sustainable community development. Indeed, “When people are informed and engaged, healthy societies and renewable natural resources thrive”.  

If you would like to visit "The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary" whilst in Belize, Splash Dive Center offers daily tours to the nature reserve and is a perfect family tour. Contact Patricia Ramirez at to make your reservation. Visit for other tours.  

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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Belize's Best Whale Shark Diving!!

In Belize’s extraordinarily clear waters of the reef lives an amazing world of colorful limestone corals and incredible variety of fish and sea mammals.  Coral cleaning Rainbow Parrotfish; bashful and brightly colored angel fish; territorial barracuda; lazy nurse sharks; inquisitive Nassau grouper; school of blue stripped grunt; and the ever graceful stingrays, eagle rays and manta rays are often seen. Bottle nosed dolphins, manatee, and sea turtles can also be seen by divers and snorkelers.  The resplendent underwater scenery attracts divers from around the globe to enjoy the multicolor scenery. Consider the following and you’ll understand why Belize is one of the most popular dive destinations – The Belize Barrier Reef, three magnificent atolls, 70 types of hard corals, nearly 500 species of fish and the celebrated Blue Hole.

In terms of diversity, diving far exceeds most destinations. Divers encounter marine life of all shapes, sizes and species.  Subterranean gardens, coral jungles, and encounters with dolphins, morays, turtles, graceful eagle rays and migrating whale sharks, make dive trips irresistible.  Southern Belize harbors whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea, during their migrations in the off-shore area often spotted in the Gladden Spit from March to June.  During these months the gentle giants of the ocean migrate to these corners of the world less than one hour boat ride from Placencia to feed on the spawn during full moon especially from mutton, cubera and dog snappers.

The reef parallels the coast for approximately 185 miles. Like an underwater range of mountains, some peaks rise to the surface.  This uneven range is blessed with almost every type of coral known. Hugging the eastern shore of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, the reef then snakes its way down through open water past Dangriga, Hopkins, Placencia, and north of Punta Gorda. Because of its size, the Belize BarrierReef Reserve System has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site. Lighthouse Reef Atoll encircles the celebrated Blue Hole, a 1,000-foot circular sinkhole 410 feet deep.  Explorer Jacques Cousteau called it “one of the four must-dive locations on this blue planet.”  All three atolls – Turneffe Islands, Lighthouse Reef, and Glover’s Reef – harbor more than 100 great dive and snorkeling sites.

In the shallows between mainland and the reef, boats reach hundreds of dive sites in a short time, including tiny islands. Coral patterns and patches decorate the sand like gardens in a yard. Outside the ridge, the reef slopes and reveals shallow corals and gorgonians.

Scuba divers need certification, but no such requirement applies to snorkelers, who can jump right in and witness the spectacle.  Protected Hol Chan Marine Reserve, between Ambergris and Caye Caulker, makes a popular spot both for snorkeling and for learning how to dive.  Beginners enjoy South Water Caye and Glover’s Reef Atoll because they offer beautiful sea life with minimal currents.

Scout as many dive and snorkel sites as possible, because no two are alike.  Vibrant fish and fragile coral still thrive at these sites because visitors help to protect them.  It is critical not to touch, bump, or kick sand on the reefs, because doing so could destroy them.  Call Splash Dive Center today and book your favorite whale shark tour or any combination of dive package available.